田子の浦 (Fuji from Tago Bay)

Designer: Tsuchiya Koitsu | Carver: David Bull | Printer: Chiharu Kawai

Paper size: 24cm by 17cm | Enlargement | Shipping Code: [M] ? | Currency: $ / £ /

Price: $ 120.00£ 97.00€ 110.00

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Description: (from Dave’s notes) Printing the colours on a shin-hanga design is infinitely more difficult than working with an older style of Japanese print. An ukiyo-e design is for the most part all ‘visible’; the outlines are clean and sharp, and the colour areas are clearly defined. The essence of a shin-hanga design though, lies in its multiplicity of colour blends and overlays, and it can be very difficult indeed to determine just what block layout was used to make any particular print. I of course have no access to the original block set, so have to work through a sort of ‘reverse engineering’ process to try and establish how this print was ‘built’. That is only half the challenge though, because once I have a set of blocks ready, test printing begins, and this brings with it a whole new set of decisions that must be made.

Before I started proofing work, I used the internet to inspect a number of different images of this design; these were all issued by the original publisher, at intervals of some decades apart, and were of course all printed from the block set owned by that publisher. They are hugely different - a bluish lake/a greenish lake, sunlight on the tree trunk/no sunlight on the tree trunk ... practically every part of the image is changed from sample to sample. Some of this will have been due to changing fashion as the years went by - the more modern examples are quite garish - and some will be due to the printers being not quite so careful in following a proof copy.

Which ‘sample’ did I follow? Well, none of them actually. Because the original publisher issued so many variants of this print, I myself felt quite at liberty when creating this one; I looked carefully at the block set, studied those older images for quite a long time, and then came up with what you see here. I am pretty happy with it, and almost feel I am right there at Tago Bay when I look at this ...

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